TB ravaging our people, Minister cries out
By Daud Olatunji, Abeokuta
THE Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, has raised the alarm that 600,000 cases of tuberculosis are recorded annually in Nigeria.
Adewole stated this while flagging off a free mobile testing and treatment of the disease in Abeokuta, the state capital.
The Minister said Nigeria has the fourth largest burden in the world, adding that Nigeria has worst case of tuberculosis in Africa with five out six cases undetected in the country.
The initiative, tagged ‘Wellness on Wheel’, according to the Minister was to detect other cases for proper treatment, adding that the undetected cases portend danger to the society.
The focus of the initiative, Adewole said, was to pick every TB case for proper treatment.
“We are flagging off this initiative to improve TB cases detection in our country. Nigeria has about 600, 000 TB cases every year and we have the fourth largest burden of TB all over the world and we are number one in Africa.
“What is particularly worrisome is that we are only able to detect one out of six cases of TB. In terms of detection, Nigeria has scored the least in the world in terms of being able to pick TB cases.
“The danger is that TB is infectious and the five out of six cases undetected will infect other people and therefore our mandate is to increase detection, so that the five missing cases will be detected and treated, hence, this unique initiative called ‘Wellness on Wheel’.
“With this innovative idea, we can diagnose TB within a very short time, at most, two hours, we can do x-ray using this vehicle, we can also detect TB cases using generic test, we will also know if the case is drug resistant type or non drug resistant type,” the Minister said.
In his remarks , Governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun who was later adopted as TB Champion in the country, said the initiative will further help data gathering in the state.
Amosun said the confidence reposed on the state will not be taken for granted adding that the disease doesn’t recognise status, religion or tribe.
Amosun assured that the vehicle, equipped with modern facilities to detect the disease will move from one community to the other.
While promising to take the initiative to other brother governors in the country, Amosun said the mobile center will take pressure off the treatment clinics in the state.